Friday, January 28, 2011

Senate considers Bill
Miss. Senate Considers Child Protection Bill
Bill Would Require Clergy To Report Confessed Child Sex Acts
POSTED: 2:10 pm CST January 27, 2011
UPDATED: 5:13 pm CST January 27, 2011
JACKSON, Miss. -- A bill went before the Mississippi Senate on Thursday that would make it illegal for a priest not to alert authorities if someone confesses to child sex acts.

Senate Bill 2498, also known as the Mississippi Child Protection Act of 2011, makes it mandatory for adults to report it if they believe there is sexual abuse going on with a child under their care. That includes teacher, nurses, day care workers and even members of the clergy.

"If the confessor says, 'I am currently having a problem abusing a child sexually,' and only in that content -- in a sexual content -- it would go under this particular law," said Sen. Joey Fillingane, a Republican from Sumrall. "We in the Legislature hold it in the state's interest to protect that child."

The Child Protection Act would also make it mandatory for the state's abortion clinic to collect and save DNA from an aborted fetus if the mother is 15 or younger. The age of consent in Mississippi is 16, so anyone who has sex with someone younger than that is committing statutory rape, according to the law. The DNA collected by the clinic would be used to prosecute the father for committing statutory rape, supporters of the bill said.

Also, brought before the Senate on Thursday, Bill 2617, that if passed would make it a requirement that anyone conducting an abortion procedure must be an obstetrician-gynecologist with visiting rights at a local hospital.

Both bills will now go before committees for consideration.

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